GAY TIMES has partnered with Maltesers to ensure that the voices of queer parents are being heard by having an honest and open conversation about the joys and challenges of queer motherhood.
Terri, who describes herself as “colourful, chaotic and candid” in her Instagram bio, is an LGBTQ+ parent and influencer who has been documenting her journey on social media.
We asked Terri and her best friend of 25 years, Laura, to reminisce on some of Terri’s most-liked photos to open up a conversation about maternal mental health and to show the reality of the queer parenthood journey, proving how lovebeatslikes.
After joking about the time Terri came out as gay to Laura – on a coach journey to Alton Towers, no less! – the former discusses IVF treatment, how it personally affected her and the amount of “medication that is being pumped into your body”, an aspect of pregnancy Terri wants to shine a light on due to lack of visibility in mainstream media.
“There’s this expectation that you’re pregnant and you’re meant to love your body and the rest of it, and I didn’t really. I really struggled with that,” says Terri.
On why it was important for her to share the “highs and lows” of pregnancy on her social media, instead of painting a “perfect picture”, Terri explains: “There’s almost, I feel like, an expectation that we’re just meant to fall into these roles and it’s meant to be easy. Mentally it wasn’t. I spent a lot of time crying and needing a lot of support from you and from my wife.”
In the video, Terri and Laura also describe a selection of her Instagram photos on cue cards with just one word. One photo depicts Terri with her newborn child in a rainbow-coloured baby carrier, which Terri describes as a “content” moment in her life while Laura calls it “goals”.
“I was in such a good place. I felt like I was smashing it as a mum,” Terri recalls of that specific day. “I’d kind of got past the hard – I say the hard bit, being a parent is really hard as we know but the postpartum – where everything is just up in the air.
“I felt like I was finally emerging from that. I just felt really content and in a really good place.”
When Laura asks Terri whether she faces any “additional struggles” being an LGBTQ+ parent, Terri says she feels like she has a “lot of explaining to do” and that she takes “offence” to people asking inappropriate questions.
“You don’t have to tell me how your child was conceived or who plays what role in your family. It did take a while for me to find my people,” she tells Laura. “I found it really hard to find groups that included other family types that kind of moved away from the ‘norm’. But when I was around other people who are like me, it’s like another little family.”
The video wraps with Terri revealing what piece of advice she wishes she could’ve been given before she became a mum. “Find your people,” she simply states. “There are so many people out there who are experiencing life the same way that we are. Find your tribe and love them hard.”
GAY TIMES and Maltesters have also sent our audience a survey about their real-life experiences of being a queer parent, the results of which are coming soon.
You can check out the full video between Terri and Laura here or below.
To find out more about the Comic Relief and Maltesers partnership visit: https://www.comicrelief.com/partners/maltesers
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